Staying safe on the road means keeping up with your truck’s maintenance. As we come out of winter and into spring, the moisture in the air combined with the exposure to road salt can begin or exacerbate the corrosion process. This leads to costly damage if left unchecked, as well as a need for semi truck repair. The best thing you can do for your truck is to thoroughly inspect it on a regular basis and watch for signs of corrosion or other damage. Here’s how to conduct an inspection for corrosion:
- What to look for: Corrosion is pretty easy to spot—just look for rust or green residue anywhere your truck has been exposed to water or road salt. That includes the undercarriage, wheels and even the floor of your cab.
- Cables and batteries: If your batteries show corrosion or residue, you can clean them with baking soda and hot water. Disassemble the battery and cables, paying special attention to all connections and wiring. Scrub them and dry thoroughly before reconnecting the wiring.
- Air lines and electrical cord: Be sure to check these areas under the hood to make sure there’s no evidence of corrosion—if there is, clean it and schedule maintenance as soon as possible.
- Bottom radiator pipe: This part of your truck is especially prone to corrosion, thanks to new de-icing techniques that are being used throughout the country. Pay close attention to the entire pipe and scrub or scrape the corrosion away, then coat it with a rust inhibitor.
- Shocks, shock mounts and dust shields: While not quite as prone to corrosion as the battery and metal parts of your undercarriage, these areas can still corrode. Rusty dust shields will cause you to fail a DOT inspection, so be sure to check them regularly.
- Paint: Paint doesn’t exactly corrode, but nasty winter weather conditions can do a number on it. Clean your truck thoroughly and coat it with wax, then apply a second coat on top to really seal the paint.
Regular maintenance tips
The best thing you can do to prevent corrosion is to regularly get a good undercarriage wash—do this at least once a year, after winter is over, and more often if your truck is regularly going through inclement weather. There are semi truck washing services that specialize in thorough undercarriage washing and are designed to remove stubborn road salt.
Wet vac cleaning your interior—especially the seams between the interior and exterior spaces—helps remove dirt and debris that could cause the floor of your cab to rust out. The doorstep soles and floor mats often harbor road salt that you or a passenger have tracked in.
When you need semi truck repair and maintenance, J.H.T. Service & Repair, LLC can help. Our shop provides maintenance and repair for heavy trucks and trailers, as well as 24/7 emergency service for everything from winching and repairs to load shifting and aluminum welding. If you need service in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, call us first.
Categorised in: Truck Maintenance
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